The Biggest Unexplained Mysteries of Britain’s Royal Family

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Apr 02, 2024

The British royal family spends the entirety of their lives in the public eye, serving the nation’s citizens.  

Yet, to some degree, the British public knows little to nothing about the private lives of royals, with much of their personal affairs remaining behind closed doors and shrouded in mystery. 

Royal Skeletons in the Closet

One example of the British royalty’s secretive nature was the life of the former queen, Elizabeth. She ruled for an impressive seven decades yet seldom revealed anything about her private life. 

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A picture of the extended royal family during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Source: Wikimedia

However, this doesn’t mean they are exempt from the occasional unexplained mystery. From former kings colluding with the Nazis to secret tapes that could bring the royal family to their knees, here are five unexplained mysteries surrounding the British royal family.

Dead Body Found on Sandringham Estate

One of the greatest mysteries surrounding the royal family occurred in the winter of 2012 when a dead body was found on the Sandringham estate.

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An aerial photograph of the Sandringham Estate and its surrounding land

Source: Wikimedia

According to the BBC, it quickly became apparent that the deceased was murdered, and a criminal investigation was promptly launched. 

Forensics Identify the Victim

The body required forensic testing, which later revealed the victim was 17-year-old Alisa Dmitrijeva, who had been reported missing six months prior. One theory on her death points to involvement from Eastern European gangs. 

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A crime scene investigator is pictured placing evidence into a plastic bag

Source: Freepik

Authorities believe her body was later dumped on the royal estate. Unfortunately, the mystery remains unsolved to this day, and the young woman’s killer was never brought to justice. 

Which Royal Made the Racist Joke About Meghan's Future Child?

According to the BBC, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle first announced their plans to step down from their royal duties in January 2020. 

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An image of Meghan Markle pictured smiling during an event

Source: Wikimedia

Not long after, the pair joined Oprah Winfrey for an eye-opening interview that shed light on their failing relationship with the royal family. During a portion of the talk, Meghan revealed that one high-ranking member of the royal family made a racist comment about how dark her future son’s skin would be.

Who Really Made the Horrible Comment?

The media went into a frenzy as they tried to find out who had made the racist remarks. While Meghan did admit it wasn’t the former queen, Elizabeth, or Prince Philip, she didn’t share any clues about who had made the racist comments.

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An image of King Charles wearing his royal attire

Source: Wikimedia

However, according to author Christopher Andersen, King Charles may have made the remark. To this day, the culprit behind the comment remains a mystery. 

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Princess Diana’s Secret Tapes

Rumors have long existed that Princess Diana kept a small wooden box full of recordings that held the secrets of various royal family members. 

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A photograph of Princess Diana dressed in a purple suit and wearing a pearl necklace

Source: Wikimedia

Coined the “Crown Jewels,” some of the information on the tapes could have supposedly destroyed the reputation of many royals (per The Guardian).

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Royal Courtier Is Accused of Assaulting King Charles’ Aide

On one tape, the former aide to King Charles, George Smith, alleges he was sexually assaulted by a senior courtier on several occasions.

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An up-close image of King Charles dressed in a pin-striped suit

Source: Wikimedia

According to The Guardian, the tapes were in the hands of Paul Burrell, the princess’s former butler. However, they were later seized. The location of the tapes remains a mystery, but some sources suggest they have been destroyed. 

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Queen Victoria and John Brown

After the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, Queen Victoria began increasingly close with her confidant and royal servant, John Brown.

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An image of Queen Victoria on a white horse, and by her side stands John Brown.

Source: Wikimedia

The pair’s inseparable nature fueled rumors that they had become lovers and might have even married. 

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Did Queen Victoria Marry a Scotsman?

Evidence to support the claim comes from the diaries of Lewis Harcourt, a former Liberal Party minister. According to his writings, Rev Norman Macleod claims to have officiated the wedding of the queen and the Scotsman sometime around 1866.

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A portrait of Queen Victoria painted in a long black dress

Source: Wikimedia

“I suppose some people will say that it is no more than tittle-tattle,” author Patrick Jackson told The Telegraph, “but it’s certainly very high-level gossip from very respectable sources who had no reason to make it up.” Whether or not there’s any truth to these claims remains a mystery. 

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Was Edward VIII a Nazi Sympathizer Who Planned to Bomb Britain?

King Edward was forced to abdicate the British throne in 1936 in order to marry the common woman he loved, U.S. socialite Wallis Simpson.

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Edward VIII pictured alongside Wallis Simpson during a holiday in 1936

Source: Wikimedia

According to rumors of the era, being forced to abdicate never sat well with Edward, and he even planned to collude with the Nazi party to bomb Britain in revenge and take the throne from his brother George VI, per CBC.

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Edward VIII Meets Hitler

Edward traveled around Germany in 1937 and even met Hitler, a feat that led to many calling the former king a Nazi sympathizer.

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Edward VIII pictured during his tour of Germany in 1937

Source: Wikimedia

While speculation of his ties with the Nazis continued during the era, whether or not he truly planned to attack Britain with the help of the Third Reich remains yet another royal mystery. 

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